NEW YORK (AP) — Sandy Alderson was chosen as the New York Mets general manager, and is now responsible for rebuilding a big-spending organization beset by problems on and off the field.
Alderson will be introduced Friday at a Citi Field news conference, the team announced Thursday.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is allowing Alderson to leave his current job with Major League Baseball, in which he’s leading efforts to reform operations in the Dominican Republic.
“I think it’s in the best interest of baseball,” Selig said in San Francisco before Game 2 of the World Series. “I’ve known Sandy for 30 years. I have enormous respect for Sandy both professionally and personally.”
Alderson and former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes were brought back for a second round of interviews this week.
GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel were fired after the team’s second consecutive losing season. The club has said its new GM will lead the search for the next manager.
Alderson, a Harvard Law School graduate and former Marine, met Tuesday with the Mets owner Fred Wilpon; son Jeff Wilpon, the chief operating officer; and club president Saul Katz. Byrnes met with Mets ownership Monday.
Alderson is the former president and GM of the Oakland Athletics and chief executive officer of the San Diego Padres.
Alderson, who turns 63 next month, was Oakland’s general manager from 1983-97, also serving as team president from 1993-95 and 1996-97. He built power-packed teams led by the Bash Brothers of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco that won three straight pennants from 1988-90 and a World Series title in ’89.
Well-respected among MLB executives, Alderson was executive vice president for baseball operations in the commissioner’s office from 1998-05. He was the Padres’ CEO from 2005-09.
The Mets, who went 79-83 last season and finished 18 games behind the Phillies in the NL East, haven’t made the postseason since reaching the National League championship series in 2006. On the business side, Alderson also will have to deal with several unwieldy contracts for underperforming players.
They have been beset by injuries the past two seasons to stars Johan Santana, who had shoulder surgery and will miss the start of the season, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Jason Bay and closer Francisco Rodriguez.
K-Rod also has criminal charges pending stemming from a fight with his girlfriend’s father. He tore a ligament in his thumb punching the man. He is due in court Nov. 10.
New York also interviewed Allard Baird, Dana Brown, Rick Hahn and Logan White for its GM position. Major League Baseball discourages teams from making major announcements that conflict with the World Series. The first day off is Friday between Games 2 and 3.